Everybody Loves Arun

Day one at NACAC reminded us of two things–We come here as much for the people as we do for the workshops, and the vast majority of the people working in admissions are smart, honest, and interested in doing what’s right for kids.

We have to start this entry by acknowledging that it seems as if everyone attending NACAC has worked with or heard of Arun.  And all of them seem to like and respect him.  Alex and Kevin have had absolutely no qualms riding Arun’s coattails throughout our stay here.  And what colorful coattails they are.  Yesterday, Arun was sporting a look that involved a pink dress shirt, red track jacket, and blue pinstriped blazer–yes, all at the same time.  Alex and Kevin admitted that while we would look absolutely ridiculous in that outfit, Arun somehow managed to pull it off.  We’re kicking ourselves for not photographing him.  One counselor and at an elite New York private high school admired Arun’s look with the comment, "Wow, look at you!  You look so LA glossy."  Thus far, nobody has referred to Kevin or Alex as "glossy." 

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Back On Tour…

Day one of our full-fledged college tours got off to a rocky start when it took us nearly 30-minutes Easyrider_4just to find the freeway near our hotel.  We were distracted by all the pedestrians who mistook us for a cab and  tried to hail us.  Who can blame them?  We’re driving this.

No, this is not a random car that we saw in a parking lot and thought, "Hey, it would be funny if we took a picture of that monstrosity and put in the blog!"  This is actually our rental car…for one more day.  Until then, we’re going to fashion a large "Off Duty" sign to attach to its roof just to get people to stop trying to flag us down for rides around town.

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Centre College

Danville, KY

Colleges make lots of promises to prospective students.  But Centre
College, a liberal arts college with 1,070 students in Danville, Kentucky
actually gives you a guarantee.  All students who meet the college’s
academic expectations are guaranteed an internship, study abroad, and
graduation in four consecutive years.

What happens if you don’t get those?  Centre College
will provide up to a year of additional study tuition-free.

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Some Good News About College Admissions

There’s a lot of bad news swirling around about how difficult it is to get into
college today.  But the situation isn’t as bleak as you might think.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process, remember these five
bits of good college admission news.

1. It’s actually not hard to get into college.
There are 2036 four year colleges in the country, and you know what?  Only
about 200 of them are actually competitive.  630 colleges accept more than
half of their applicants.  576 colleges accept more than 75% of those who
apply.  And there are 139 colleges that accept ANYONE who graduated from
high school!  So if you want to go to college, pack your bags—you’re

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Lewis and Clark College

Portland, OR

If you want to be more than just a number once you get to college, you might
want to check out Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, where you won’t
even be reduced to a number when you apply.

Admissions officers at Lewis and Clark understand that
numbers like test scores alone don’t always tell the full story of a student.
Since 1990, Lewis and Clark’s Portfolio Path option has given applicants a
truly personal evaluation. As a supplement to the standard application form,
Portfolio Path applicants create a portfolio consisting of at least four
samples of graded academic work, three academic letters of recommendation, and
one piece of visual or performance art work. And for students applying via the
Portfolio Path, submitting test scores is optional.

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Scripps College

ScrippsClaremont, CA

Sorry guys—it’s women-only at Scripps College where 800 smart, artsy, confident women enjoy a rigorous liberal arts education with a strong sense of female community.

Scripps is the women’s college of The Claremont Colleges, a cluster of five tiny schools on 317 acres in Claremont, CA that includes Claremont McKenna, Pomona, Harvey Mudd and Pitzer. Each school specializes in a particular area that compliments the others (Scripps is strongest in the humanities like languages and history and also has a strong psychology program). Students may take up to a third of their courses at any of the sister campuses. This allows students at any of the Claremont Colleges to combine the personalized attention of a tiny college with the academic and social opportunities of a large university. And yes, even the boys can take classes at Scripps.

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Grinnell College

Grinnell, Iowa

Small liberal arts colleges like Grinnell are widely renowned for small classes, dedicated faculty, and academically rich environments where students enjoy learning.

But the nation‘s highest-scoring basketball team?

You‘d have a hard time finding a more entertaining basketball team to watch than the Grinnell Pioneers. They play a run-and-gun offense that shoots the ball within 12 seconds, takes threes every chance they get, and constantly substitutes entire squads of players like a hockey team.

The result? The Pioneers average over 110 points a game and, last February, were featured in the first nationally-televised regular season Division III game.

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Five Ways to Take the Pressure Off

The college admissions process is putting a lot of pressure
on students these days. Here are five ways to take a lot of pressure off
yourself and regain college admissions control.

1.  Take charge of the process yourself.
The more you do for yourself, the more in control of the process you will feel.
So don’t let your parents plan college visits for you—decide for yourself what
you’d like to see. If you have questions about college or need help, ask. If
you haven’t met your high school counselor, walk into the office and introduce
yourself. The world rewards people who show initiative, and this is the time to
start taking charge of your own life.

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University of Texas — Austin

Austin, Texas

We’ve profiled a lot of small schools in our college spotlight, so many that it might seem we’re biased against the big schools. We admit it, we love the way that small classes and close contact with dedicated professors virtually guarantees an enriching college experience.

But we also like to think big. In fact, to assume we dislike the big schools would be a big mistake. Take University of Texas at Austin for example.

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